Growing up I never considered myself to be all that healthy or energetic. There were always biscuits and chocolate in the cupboard at home and even though I knew they weren’t the healthiest choices as I got older it wouldn’t stop me reaching for them.
I remember we’d get home from school and claim we were ‘starving’ before tucking into things like crackers and dip. I knew I ‘should’ be exercising because I was conscious of my weight. So often I forced myself to go for a walk, run or get to the gym and if I didn’t, I would terrorise myself about NOT GOING.
I was always conscious of how my body looked despite eating foods I knew weren’t always the best for me. I was always looking for a new diet or that magic eating plan which if only I could stick too I’d be able to achieve my ‘ideal weight’. There were times when I just decided I just wouldn’t eat at all and that would ‘fix the problem’.
There was a growing emptiness inside me when I started work in the real world after school. On the outside it probably appeared like I had it all but on the inside there was something off. Looking back, food was what I numbed myself with in order to make it through each day and each week. It wasn’t making me feel any better though, even biscuits and dip!
I had a nagging feeling within me that there was more to life, that I was destined for something greater but I just couldn’t put my finger on it. After my partner (now husband) and I moved back home from interstate I found myself out of work for around 6 months and something happened…
I started to learn more about the power of our minds. I changed my perspective about who I was and what I was capable of and in time the unthinkable started to happen… I suddenly found myself really caring about how I fuelled and nourished my body but it quickly turned into an obsession. There was a period I didn’t want to eat anything that was sub-standard and didn’t tick all the ‘healthy’ boxes. Perfectionism, hell yes. I recall pacing up and down a suburban Melbourne street one afternoon trying to find something that passed the ‘healthy enough test’ but there was no health food or organic produce shop in sight.
Ironically, that afternoon I went to see a naturopath having a strong interest at that time to study naturopathy myself… We had a chat, I showed her my self-prescribed food diary which I was proud as punch of given it was filled with things like green juice, nutrient packed smoothies, quinoa salads not to mention also gluten free, sugar free and dairy free plant based foods. She told me she wanted to do a few tests to assess where I was at because it was the only way to really see if I was getting what I needed from a nutritional perspective.
Honestly, I thought I was going to kick these assessments out of the park, how could my body NOT be doing well with all this care and attention to what I had been eating?! Needless to say I wasn’t prepared when the test results came back to hear my brain was stressed to the max because of the amount of pressure I’d put on myself to try and maintain this perfectionist level of eating…
It was a wake-up call and a big smack in the face…There was NOTHING healthy about trying to eat so perfectly to the point my body couldn’t even absorb the ‘good’ I was putting in it. I was doing nothing but trying to beat my body into submission, not by forcing myself to exercise and relying on motivation to ‘eat well’ but this time with a need for perfectionism and a side-serve of constant over analysis, judgement and self-criticism.
Often I think about how I went from this person who didn’t really care much for health to one who started tertiary study in Health Science. What ACTUALLY happened to make me start to care so much about health and wellness? I was the last person on earth who would have really started caring about nutrition. The ONLY ANSWER I can come up with is I started to work on my mindset.
I started to clean up my thoughts. I started to value myself more. I started to believe in myself and connect with a purpose greater than myself. I started to appreciate my body. I started to tune inward and stop listening to what everyone else thought I should be doing and started to reconnect with my own inner guidance. I started to feel fuller on the inside and because of THIS, I started to WANT to take better care of myself and it didn’t seem hard or as though I was relying on willpower at all.
I recall listening to an interview a while ago when I was out walking…I can’t remember who the interview was between but what was suggested was powerful and left a lasting impression on my mind. This person proposed if you clean up your mind, it will flow into other areas of your life such as your health. Essentially it doesn’t matter what area you begin to clean up, but as you clean, you lift your vibration and the changes will flow onto other areas of your life and that explanation resonates with me SO MUCH.
So many of us think we need to force our bodies into submission. We think in order to get the body or the health we want we need to push ourselves and if it doesn’t feel uncomfortable then we are doing it ‘wrong’. What I’ve learnt however is that when it comes from this place instead of just wanting to FEEL GOOD it never lasts.
Our bodies are miraculous. They want to SERVE US and they do such a BRILLIANT job under whatever conditions we enforce upon them. There is no need to treat them like they are on an opposing team….THEY ARE ON YOUR TEAM, ALWAYS CHEERING FOR YOU!
If you truly want to feel healthier start by giving yourself more love, kindness and compassion and forget whatever else you think you ‘should’ be doing. IT ALL STARTS WITHIN.
All my love